WEST KOOTENAYS, B.C. – October 1 marks the date when winter tires are required on most B.C highways – and this year truckers who don’t follow the new requirements on chaining up could get slapped with a bigger fine than before.

The new stricter fines go into effect on Tuesday, October 1, the government says.
“During previous winters, drivers faced a base-level fine of $121 for not carrying chains or not installing them when required to do so. Drivers will now be fined $196 for not carrying chains when and where required, and $598 for not installing chains during mandatory chain ups”, said a news release.

Previous regulations only required vehicles over 27,000 kilograms to carry and use traction devices, with only one wheel needing chains during winter conditions and mandatory chain ups. The new, more all-encompassing enhancements clarify requirements for all commercial vehicles over 5,000 kilograms:

* Vehicles with licensed gross vehicle weights less than 11,794 kilograms, like buses or five-ton trucks, must use chains on a minimum of two tires and can use steel chains, cable chains, automatic chains, socks or wheel sanders if not equipped with winter tires.

* Vehicles with licensed gross vehicle weights of 11,794 kilograms or more must use steel chains. The number of tires needing chains ranges from a minimum of two tires for vehicles without a trailer, to six tires on some larger and more-demanding configurations.